Sporttia stadiin / Urban Exerciser (2018-2022)

Sedentary lifestyles are a major problem in most contemporary societies. The lack of physical activity increases the odds of premature death and causes huge yearly health costs. This also applies to the Helsinki region.

The goal for the Urban Exerciser project is to better understand personal motivations, characteristics and life situations behind active lifestyles as well as the role of built and natural environment in supporting active travel by walking and cycling. The participants of the study are provided personal recommendations based on their unique characteristics and residential area on how they could increase their daily physical activity and the effect of these recommendations will be studied. The project sheds light if individualized rather than general recommendations can lead to better results in increasing the physical activity and supporting better health at population-level.

Our role in the Urban Exerciser project is to focus on the role of built and natural environment in encouraging or discouraging physical activity. We aim at;

  1. exploring participants’ daily mobility and movement patterns;
  2. understanding participants’ opportunities and equity to use active travel modes; and
  3. studying the role of personalized recommendations in supporting more active travel and sport behaviour.

We combine big data from mobile phones and Helsinki bike-sharing system to individual-level data collected from participants. Urban Exerciser brings together a unique set of expertise from four disciplines, geography, psychology, sports medicine and computer science. Together with the multidisciplinary research team, we combine our expertise to understand the complex patterns of physical activity.


The project is funded by cultural foundation of Amer

Project in Finnish:

People (from DGL):